DNI John Ratcliffe Takes Unprecedented Step of Slapping Down #FakeNews Claim About Russia Hoax Letter

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., speaks to media, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign adviser who triggered the Russia investigation, will speak behind closed doors to two GOP-led House committees that are investigating partisan bias at the Justice Department. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Just a few hours ago, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released a letter revealing that there was intelligence indicating that the Hillary Clinton campaign created the Trump-collusion narrative out of whole cloth and used friends within the intelligence community, the FBI, and the media to push the story to damage then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign. My colleague Nick Arama has the whole story in HUGE: John Ratcliffe Drops Bombshell Letter Linking Hillary Clinton, Obama/Biden Admin to Russia Hoax.

In fact, here you can see one of the very first times the Clinton campaign pushed the bizarre Russia hoax story into the public consciousness.

It didn’t take long for the same cretins who have shamelessly pushed a story they knew or should have known to be false for three years to lose their crap. One of the best headlines came from Politico. The only shock here was that Natasha Bertrand, who acted as though she was on Fusion GPS’s payroll until the Mueller report was released, did not write it. I imagine she was off on her fainting couch.

The idea that the DNI would push out information that he knew to be unreliable and which had already been reviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee was ludicrous on its face. But when you have a “news” organization like Politico that was so heavily invested in shopping unsubstantiated rumors that have since been proven false, the shock and embarrassment (should one assume that they are capable of that emotion) of revealing that they didn’t even fall for a Russian scam but rather an improbable tale concocted by juice-boxers during a bullsh** session in Chappaqua proved just too much. This is the headline: Intel chief releases Russian disinfo on Hillary Clinton that was rejected by bipartisan Senate panel. The subhead, “Former top officials were aghast at the move by John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence,” gives the idea of the butthurt that you are about to read.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified a Russian intelligence assessment that was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The extraordinary disclosure, released to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) earlier Tuesday, rankled Democrats, who said the move effectively put Russian disinformation into the public sphere in order to boost President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

And several former senior intelligence officials described Ratcliffe’s move as incendiary and irresponsible, given the manner in which he was publicly releasing unverified information from a foreign adversary.

For this to be such a terrible affront to the integrity of the intelligence process, what is notable is the only person going on record to claim this is Russian disinformation is Rachel Cohen, a spokeswoman for Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Mark Warner. This would be the same Mark Warner who tried to secretly meet with both dossier compiler Christopher Steele and sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, an attempt that has never been adequately explored or explained.

DNI Ratcliffe spent no time at all in responding directly to the charge that he was shopping discredited stories:

The irony is that the Russians more likely than not knew that the entire Russia hoax was nonsense because they had created it.

We know, for instance, that the primary sub source for master spy Christopher Steele was suspected of being a Russian agent. There has been at least one report that he attempted to acquire classified information, offering money in exchange. Over two years ago, I pointed out that there was a much greater chance that the Steele dossier was a Russian operation than anything else. See The Steele Memo Is Much More Likely Russian Dezinformatsiya Than It is Intelligence. As it turned out, I was not alone in suspecting this to be the case. At least one reporter who actively pushed the hoax thought the same. See If This New York Times Reporter Suspected the Dossier Was a Fraud Why Is He Only Reporting on It Now.

Knowing, as we do, that every jot and tittle of the Steele dossier was fake and that the whole Russia hoax hinged on that discredited document, the idea of the Russians trying to decide to sh** or go blind as they watched a plot that was executed entirely on the dime of the Clinton campaign spin out of control and become not only the centerpiece of her campaign strategy but the central event in American politics for over two years would be hilarious were it not so sad.